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Neuropsychobiology. 2003;48(2):95-101.

Auditory-evoked potentials and selective attention: different ways of information processing in cannabis users and controls.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany. Petra.A.Kempel@psychol.uni-geissen.de

Abstract

The present study tested the hypothesis that chronic cannabis use leads to persistent attentional dysfunctions and that age of onset of cannabis use is a potential predictor of impaired test performance and information processing. Brain event-related potentials (ERPs) during a complex auditory selective attention task were recorded from 21 cannabis users divided into two groups according to age of onset and from 13 controls comparable with respect to age, IQ and educational background. Participants were instructed to detect target tones of a particular location, pitch and duration from a total sample of random frequencies. The study reveals that the latency of the greatest negative peak of ERPs (200 and 300 ms) to target tones was shorter in controls, while there was no clear difference between target and non-target within cannabis users. In addition, users displayed a reduced P3 to target tones. This was more pronounced in early-onset cannabis users. These data suggest that chronic cannabis use relates to different types of information processing under conditions of selective attention. There is some evidence that users employed different strategies of attention allocation. The results are discussed with respect to possible underlying mechanisms and clinical implications.

PMID:
14504418
DOI:
10.1159/000072884
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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